Mt 22: 1-10

Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’

But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy.

Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Banquet of heaven

This parable must seem scary to all of us who know in faith that we are invited to the “wedding banquet” of heaven but are often too busy with worldly pursuits to give heaven much thought, instead going our “own way.” For us, this Covid-19 virus has an opportunity to, in some ways, be a great grace, calling us back to the one thing necessary in all of our pursuits. We must keep our calling to heaven before us in all we say and do, and pile up good works of compassion and caring for others, the wedding garment that the parable goes on to speak about.

As St. Ignatius puts it, we are meant to “find God in all things.”

—Fr. Jack Zupez, SJ, is a member of the Jesuits Central and Southern Province. He lives at Jesuit Hall in St. Louis and has served in full-time prison ministry. 

 

Prayer

Lord, I pray that I may see the grace in this pandemic. When it ends, may I not return to business as usual, but rather may I have grown more eager to adorn my life with good works, in preparation for the eternal banquet of heaven.

—Fr. Jack Zupez, SJ